Tag Archives: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

CANTLON’S CORNER: GUESS WHO’S BACK FOR THE PACK…OR IS HE… PACK OFF-SEASON REPORT

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT –  There’s always speculation on a team that didn’t make the playoffs in who’s coming back and who isn’t. The Hartford Wolf Pack have, as most AHL teams do, had some turnover. One player who’s future was an unknown had that question answered this past week.

MALCOLM IS BACK

Last season’s best insurance policy in the Pack net, Jeff Malcolm, has been resigned by the Rangers to an AHL deal for the 2016-17 season.

The question for Malcolm though is, “Will he be in Hartford or Greenville?

Looking at the goalie depth chart with Magnus Hellberg (making $100K-AHL last season), Mackenzie Skapski in the final year of his entry-level deal ($65K-AHL) and rookie Brandon Halverson (starting the first year of a three entry level contract) Greenville seems more likely for Malcolm.

We thought that last season too, but he spent significant time in Hartford early in the year because both Mackenzie Skapski (right hip labrum)i and Cedrick Desjardins (torn right ACL) were coming major surgeries in the off season.

Malcolm spent a better part of the second half as Magnus Hellberg’s backup when Skapski had troubles in net and was dispatched to Greenville was highly respected by his teammates and coaching staff on how he handled the backup role. Malcolm won some significant games including a critical 3-0 shutout in Springfield on March 20th in the Pack’s valiant, but unsuccessful bid to make the Calder Cup playoffs.

Malcolm’s season was ended prematurely in the waning weeks of the regular season suffering a fractured larynx in practice taking a shot similar to Providence Malcolm Subban injury and was rushed to a local surgeon for successful emergency surgery,

Malcolm, is entering amazingly his fourth pro season in 2016-17, and his first three seasons have all been in the Wolf Pack/New York Ranger organization. Last season, he played a career-high 14 AHL games with the Wolf Pack and tied his AHL career best in wins with seven, going 7-5-0 in AHL action. The 6-2, 185-pound Malcolm also established personal AHL bests of a 2.41 goals-against average and a 91.2% save percentage, and registered his first two career AHL shutouts.

Malcolm also appeared in nine ECHL games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits recording a record of 5-2-2 with a 3.40 GAA and an 89.4% save percentage. Malcolm also played in the ECHL All-Star game.

Originally signed by the Wolf Pack on July 17, 2013, Malcolm has seen action in 31 career AHL games, posting a 15-12-0 record, a 2.78 GAA and a 90.3% save percentage. In 64 total ECHL outings with Greenville, Malcolm is 35-21-6, with a 2.79 GAA, a 91.3% save percentage and one shutout.

Malcolm capped off his four-year Yale career in 2012-13 by backstopping the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA “Frozen Four” title in school history. Malcolm was 20-6-2 in 30 appearances for Yale in 2012-13, with a 2.24 goals-against average, a 91.9% save percentage and three shutouts. Those numbers represented the second-highest single-season win total, the third-best save percentage and fourth-lowest GAA in Yale Men’s Hockey history. Malcolm also finished second among ECACHL goaltenders in wins and tied for third in shutouts.

In his four years at Yale, Malcolm appeared in 67 games, amassing a record of 36-21-4 with a 2.60 GAA, a 90.7% save percentage and six shutouts. Those stats rank him fourth all-time in school history in wins, GAA and save percentage.

ON THE MOVE

Former Wolf Pack Alex Krushelnyski, son of former New York Ranger, Mike Krushelnyski, signs an AHL deal with Binghamton.

Former Wolf Pack forward Andrew Rowe, who played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he added seven goals and eight points in eleven games before an injury prematurely ended his season, has signed a one-year AHL deal with them for the upcoming season. The Sound Tigers also signed Finnish goalie Christopher Gibson for a one-year, two-way deal.

Eric O’Dell, who split the year with Rochester and Binghamton, signs with HK Sochi (Russia-KHL). Joining him in AHL’ers heading to Europe include Greg Rallo of Texas who goes to Iserlohn (Germany-DEL) and Drew Shore Stockton to EHC Kloten (Switzerland-LNA). Clark Seymour of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to HC Bolzano (Italy-AEHL).

The AHL to Euro list now stands at 70.

Ex-Pack defenseman Vladimir Denisov re-signs with Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia-KHL).

Former Sound Tigers goalie in 2005-06, Frederic Cloutier, goes from Kookoo (Finland Division-1) to Asiago AS (Italy-AlpsHL).

Ex-Pack and Sound Tiger, Mark Lee, split last year between Italy (SHC Fassa) and Denmark (SonderjyskE) signs with ETC Crimmitschau (Germany DEL-2).

Ex-CT Whale, Shayne Wiebe, leaves EHC Olten (Switzerland-LNB) for HC Val Pusteria (Italy-AlpsHL).

Former Quinnipiac Bobcat and Sound Tiger, Mike Dalhuisen, goes from Esbjerg(Denmark) to Torpedo Kamenogorsk (Russia-VHL).

Former Salisbury Prep player Kevin Quick goes from Nottingham (England-EIHL) to Beijing to play for the China Dragon in the ALIH (Asia League Ice Hockey) team.

Several new assistant coaches were named in the AHL this week. Ex-Sound Tiger Jay Leach and Trent Whitfield join Kevin Dean’s staff in Providence. Leach comes over from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Whitfield from Calgary (WHL). Leach was a captain with Providence and when he played at Providence College. Whitfield was also a P-Bruins captain and AHL All-Star selection finished his playing career in Portland wearing the “C” as well.

Chris Taylor from Rochester and JD Forrest (EC Salzburg-2 in Austria) become a part of Clark Donatelli’s staff in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jason King was named an assistant with Utica moving over from St. John’s where he spent the last three years, two of them as an assistant coach and the final year as the Director of Hockey Operations.

The defending Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters will enter their tenth year this upcoming season and drop the Lake Erie name and become the Cleveland Monsters. After the poor run both on and off the ice as the Cleveland Barons they adopted the Lake Erie prefix and have become one of the best franchises in the AHL. They join a city of champions along with fellow tenant at Q, the NBA champion, Cleveland Cavaliers.

AHL switches have seen Albany lose two defensemen, Brandon Burlon, who signs with Tucson and Dan Kelly signs with San Jose.

Mike Angelidis, Syracuse’s captain the last four years and who had some memorable battles against the Wolf Pack, heads West and signs an AHL deal with Stockton.

Former Yale defenseman Gus Young goes from San Jose (AHL) to Chicago (AHL).

Going from Stockton, after spending half the year in Adirondack (ECHL) and Charlotte, is forward Mitch Heard.

American International College (AIC) who play in the Atlantic Hockey Conference (AHC) in Springfield is leaving the West Springfield Olympia Arena and will make the MassMutual Center their new home starting this fall along with the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds.

AHL teams will be wearing their white uniforms at home until Christmas break and then switch to the darker uniforms after the holidays. The Wolf Pack will also be unveiling new jerseys to mark their 20th anniversary season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has unveiled a new look as their parent team of the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and they will adopt the Penguins look from their Stanley Cup winning era in 1991 and 1992.

AEG, the former operator of the XL Center, continues their restructuring of their worldwide hockey portfolio. Here in the states, they were replaced as the building operator of the Ontario Citizen Business Bank Arena. They had a ten-year run that’s started in October 2008 when the building opened at a cost of $150 million. SMG also runs the Ontario (CA) Convention Center and signed a five-year deal with a five-year option to start managing the facility. The deal became effective on July 1st.

AEG will still own and operate the AHL Ontario Reign. They did divest themselves of the ECHL Manchester Monarchs to the Boston-based PPI Sports LLC after 16 years. The Monarchs were in the AHL for 15 years winning their lone Calder Cup in 2015, their last year in the AHL. The organization flipped their franchises as part of the creation of the AHL Pacific Division. The ECHL Monarchs were the ECHL East Division champs last season.

The Kings will still be their ECHL affiliate next season, but are no longer under their umbrella. They could see a change in affiliation in a few years as part of the overall minor league restructuring that has been underway the last two years. The NHL/AHL/ECHL, 31/31/31 (eventually 32/32/32) model will marry the franchises and keep them closer to each other to reduce overall costs in travel and salary as part of the current NHL-CBA agreement.

AEG shut the doors of one of their two German DEL teams, the Hamburg Freezers in June, who drew over 9,000 per game.

One-time AHL Eddie Shore winner, Andy Delmore, goes from the University of Windsor (OUAA) to Toledo (ECHL) to be their assistant coach.

In a big collegiate move, Quinnipiac University (ECACHL) scored a transfer coup as Boston University’s (HE) Brandon Fortunato will become a Bobcat after sitting out the mandatory NCAA one-year transfer waiting period in 2017-18. He is still eligible to play junior hockey in the USHL since he doesn’t turn 21 until next June. The Fargo Force (USHL hold his rights 2014) still have his rights. He was originally drafted by Green Bay (USHL) in 2012 and the following year by Vityaz Podolsk in the KHL Draft.

SUMMER HOCKEY

The US squad at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia captured silver despite losing 4-3 to the host Czech Republic. The US squad received a strong performance from Cayden Primeau in net with 33 saves. The trophy returned to the host country for the first time in nine years that Canada didn’t win.

The US team advanced to the semifinals beating the Czechs 4-2 on the strength of a Ryan Poehling hat trick. Primeau, the son of ex-Whaler Keith Primeau, made 24 saves.

Poehling played this year at Lakeville H.S. in Minnesota where the assistant coach is former Wolf Pack defenseman, Jake Taylor.

The American team knocked off the Russians 4-3 in overtime in the semi-finals overcoming three one-goal deficits. Primeau was named the game MVP with 38 saves.

The Wolf Pack’s current assistant coach and assistant GM, Pat Boller, is one of the team’s assistant coaches.

At the Five Nations Tournament, that’s being held in Frisco, Texas – where the temperature outside was 105-107 degrees with a heat index of 112 or better – made being in the ice arena the place to be.

The American squad won the tournament for the second season in a row . The team went undefeated (4-0-0) and beat Germany 9-2 while outshooting their opponents, 54-13. They outscored the opposition 31-6 over the four games.

The team features some familiar names of sons of ex-Whalers.

Christian Krygier, the son of Whalers/UCONN/Nighthawk fame, Todd Krygier, earned two assists in the final game and had five points over the four games all assists.

Jack Drury, the son of Ted Drury and nephew to the Rangers Director of Player Development, Chris Drury of Trumbull, scored his first goal of the tournament along with four assists.

The US U-17 squad beat Switzerland 6-2 in the first game.

Krygier earned two assists in the first game while Drury picked up an assist.

In their second game, the US crushed Slovakia 10-1 at the Dr. Pepper Arena with Drury providing three assists and Krygier adding a helper.

The American squad then beat the Czech Republic 6-1 in the third game. Drury picked up another assist.

Both Drury and Krygier will play US junior hockey in the fall. Krygier will play with Lincoln (USHL) while Drury with Waterloo (USHL).

The team GM is Ken Rausch (Danbury) who played high school hockey at Immaculate High.

The Czech team features defenseman Zack Malik, son of former Whalers, Rangers and Beast of New Haven defenseman, Marek Malik.

The Canadian team had ex-New Haven Senator Darren Rumble as one of their assistant coaches.

ISLANDERS SAGA

The soap opera that is the New York Islanders and the Nassau Coliseum got a bit more interesting last week.

The New York Post reported that secret talks are underway for the possible return to the Coliseum. A Chief Nassau county official neither confirmed or denied that on the possibilities. Read the latest saga HERE!

CRAWFORD: PACK ANNOUNCE ’16-’17 SEASON SCHEDULE

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK ANNOUNCE 2016-17 GAME SCHEDULE

*           *           *           *

Begin twentieth anniversary Season October 14 at XL Center

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, August 22, 2016:  Spectra, operators of the XL Center and Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the Wolf Pack schedule for 2016-17, the team’s twentieth anniversary season.

The 76-game regular-season slate begins Friday, October 14 at the XL Center with the Wolf Pack’s home opener, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.

A special discount package is available for the home opener, including one Red-level ticket to the October 14 game, as well as one complimentary Red-level ticket to an October, November or December Wolf Pack home game of the purchaser’s choice.  Plus, every package purchased will feature a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.  The Opening Night package is priced at $30, and will be available for purchase starting Wednesday, August 24, through September 7.  The special package is available only through the Wolf Pack’s official website, hartfordwolfpack.com.

The home opener will be the first of 12 Friday nights on the Wolf Pack’s home docket, and the club will also have ten Saturday-night home games.  Seven Sunday home dates will also be featured, along with one Tuesday night and eight Wednesdays.

Wednesday, November 2 is the date of the Wolf Pack’s third annual “Sonar’s Edu-skate” school-day home game, which will face off at 11:00 AM.  All Friday-night home games will be 7:15 PM face-offs and the rest of the non-Sunday home outings will start at 7:00 PM, except for Saturday, January 7 and Saturday, February 4, which will face off at 7:30, Saturday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve), which is a 5:00 faceoff, and Saturday, March 4, which is a 3:00 start.  All Sunday home games will be 5:00 PM faceoffs, except for March 5, which will be a 3:00 start.

The Wolf Pack’s most familiar adversaries will be Atlantic Division foes the Springfield Thunderbirds and Providence Bruins, both of which the Pack will battle ten times each (five home, five away).  The Pack will see the rest of their divisional rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, eight times each (four home, four away).

In addition to those 52 divisional games, the Wolf Pack will play 24 contests against North Division competition.  Head Coach Ken Gernander’s Wolf Pack will line up four times (two home, two away) each vs. the Albany Devils, Rochester Americans, Toronto Marlies, Utica Comets and the IceCaps, and will see the Binghamton Senators and Syracuse Crunch twice (one home, one away) each.

Wolf Pack 2016-17 single-game tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 13 at 12:00 noon, at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.  Also on September 13, similar to the past three years, fans will be invited to participate in the ice-painting process during the installation of the XL Center ice surface.  Fans are encouraged to come to the XL Center between 12 noon and 1:00 PM on September 13, to take paintbrush in hand and apply some of the special red and blue “Jet Ice” paint to the newly-frozen rink.  Those interested are asked to come to the XL Center atrium, where Wolf Pack staff will be on hand to escort them to ice level.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

HARTFORD WOLF PACK 2016-17 SCHEDULE

(All Home Games in Caps, All Times Eastern)

Fri.      Oct.    14      ST. JOHN’S                 7:15
Sat.     Oct.    15      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.     7:05
Sat.     Oct.    22      @ Lehigh Valley           7:05
Sun.    Oct.    23      ST. JOHN’S                 5:00
Wed.   Oct.    26      HERSHEY                   7:00
Fri.      Oct.    28      LEHIGH VALLEY         7:15
Sat.     Oct.    29      UTICA                         7:00
Wed.   Nov.     2      LEHIGH VALLEY         11:00 AM
Fri.      Nov.     4      BRIDGEPORT             7:15
Sat.     Nov.     5      @ Providence              7:05
Fri.      Nov.   11      @ Rochester               7:05
Sat.     Nov.   12      @ Utica                       7:30
Sun.    Nov.   13      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 5:00
Wed.   Nov.   16      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sat.     Nov.   19      @ Binghamton             7:05
Sun.    Nov.   20      PROVIDENCE             5:00
Wed.   Nov.   23      BRIDGEPORT             7:00
Fri.      Nov.   25      ALBANY                      7:15
Sat.     Nov.   26      @ Lehigh Valley           7:05
Sat.     Dec.     3      @ Toronto                   5:00
Sun.    Dec.     4      @ Toronto                   3:00
Wed.   Dec.     7      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sat.     Dec.   10      TORONTO                   7:00
Sun.    Dec.   11      @ Providence              3:05
Wed.   Dec.   14      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 7:00
Fri.      Dec.   16      SYRACUSE                 7:15
Sat.     Dec.   17      @ Hershey                  7:00
Wed.   Dec.   21      @ Syracuse                 7:00
Mon.   Dec.   26      @ Bridgeport               7:00
Tue.    Dec.   27      PROVIDENCE             7:00
Fri.      Dec.   30      @ Springfield              7:05
Sat.     Dec.   31      ALBANY                      5:00
Tue.    Jan.      3      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.     7:05
Fri.      Jan.      6      LEHIGH VALLEY         7:15
Sat.     Jan.      7      BRIDGEPORT             7:30
Sun.    Jan.      8      @ Providence              3:05
Wed.   Jan.    11      @ Rochester               7:05
Fri.      Jan.    13      @ St. John’s               6:00
Sat.     Jan.    14      @ St. John’s               6:00
Fri.      Jan.    20      TORONTO                   7:15
Sat.     Jan.    21      ROCHESTER               7:00
Sun.    Jan.    22      @ Providence              5:05
Wed.   Jan.    25      HERSHEY                   7:00
Fri.      Jan.    27      @ Bridgeport               7:00
Sat.     Jan.    28      PROVIDENCE             7:00
Fri.      Feb.     3      UTICA                         7:15
Sat.     Feb.     4      ROCHESTER               7:30
Fri.      Feb.   10      @ Springfield              7:05
Sat.     Feb.   11      @ Hershey                  7:00
Fri.      Feb.   17      @ Lehigh Valley           7:05
Sat.     Feb.   18      @ Lehigh Valley           7:05
Sun.    Feb.   19      SPRINGFIELD             5:00
Fri.      Feb.   24      HERSHEY                   7:15
Sat.     Feb.   25      @ Springfield              7:05
Sun.    Feb.   26      BINGHAMTON             5:00
Wed.   Mar.     1      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sat.     Mar.     4      LEHIGH VALLEY         3:00
Sun.    Mar.     5      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 3:00
Fri.      Mar.    10      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.     7:05
Sat.     Mar.    11      @ Springfield              7:05
Sun.    Mar.    12      @ Bridgeport               3:00
Fri.      Mar.    17      @ Hershey                  7:00
Sat.     Mar.    18      @ Hershey                  7:00
Tue..   Mar.    21      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.     7:05
Fri.      Mar.    24      PROVIDENCE             7:15
Sat.     Mar.    25      BRIDGEPORT             7:00
Sun.    Mar.    26      PROVIDENCE             5:00
Fri.      Mar.    31      HERSHEY                   7:15
Sat.     Apr.      1      @ Albany                    5:00
Sun.    Apr.      2      @ Providence              3:05
Fri.      Apr.      7      SPRINGFIELD             7:15
Sat.     Apr.      8      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 7:00
Sun.    Apr.      9      @ Bridgeport               3:00
Wed.   Apr.    12      @ Albany                    7:00
Fri.      Apr.    14      @ Utica                       7:00
Sat.     Apr.    15      @ Springfield              7:05

HOME

Fri.      Oct.    14      ST. JOHN’S                 7:15
Sun.    Oct.    23      ST. JOHN’S                 5:00
Wed.   Oct.    26      HERSHEY                   7:00
Fri.      Oct.    28      LEHIGH VALLEY         7:15
Sat.     Oct.    29      UTICA                         7:00
Wed.   Nov.     2      LEHIGH VALLEY         11:00 AM
Fri.      Nov.     4      BRIDGEPORT             7:15
Sun.    Nov.   13      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 5:00
Wed.   Nov.   16      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sun.    Nov.   20      PROVIDENCE             5:00
Wed.   Nov.   23      BRIDGEPORT             7:00
Fri.      Nov.   25      ALBANY                      7:15
Wed.   Dec.     7      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sat.     Dec.   10      TORONTO                   7:00
Wed.   Dec.   14      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 7:00
Fri.      Dec.   16      SYRACUSE                 7:15
Tue.    Dec.   27      PROVIDENCE             7:00
Sat.     Dec.   31      ALBANY                      5:00
Fri.      Jan.      6      LEHIGH VALLEY         7:15
Sat.     Jan.      7      BRIDGEPORT             7:30
Fri.      Jan.    20      TORONTO                   7:15
Sat.     Jan.    21      ROCHESTER               7:00
Wed.   Jan.    25      HERSHEY                   7:00
Sat.     Jan.    28      PROVIDENCE             7:00
Fri.      Feb.     3      UTICA                         7:15
Sat.     Feb.     4      ROCHESTER               7:30
Sun.    Feb.   19      SPRINGFIELD             5:00
Fri.      Feb.   24      HERSHEY                   7:15
Sun.    Feb.   26      BINGHAMTON             5:00
Wed.   Mar.     1      SPRINGFIELD             7:00
Sat.     Mar.     4      LEHIGH VALLEY         3:00
Sun.    Mar.     5      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 3:00
Fri.      Mar.    24      PROVIDENCE             7:15
Sat.     Mar.    25      BRIDGEPORT             7:00
Sun.    Mar.    26      PROVIDENCE             5:00
Fri.      Mar.    31      HERSHEY                   7:15
Fri.      Apr.      7      SPRINGFIELD             7:15
Sat.     Apr.      8      WILKES-BARRE/SCR. 7:00

ROAD

Sat.     Oct.    15      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.   7:05
Sat.     Oct.    22      @ Lehigh Valley         7:05
Sat.     Nov.     5      @ Providence            7:05
Fri.      Nov.   11      @ Rochester              7:05
Sat.     Nov.   12      @ Utica                     7:30
Sat.     Nov.   19      @ Binghamton           7:05
Sat.     Nov.   26      @ Lehigh Valley         7:05
Sat.     Dec.     3      @ Toronto                 5:00
Sun.    Dec.     4      @ Toronto                 3:00
Sun.    Dec.   11      @ Providence            3:05
Sat.     Dec.   17      @ Hershey                 7:00
Wed.   Dec.   21      @ Syracuse               7:00
Mon.   Dec.   26      @ Bridgeport             7:00
Fri.      Dec.   30      @ Springfield             7:05
Tue.    Jan.      3      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.   7:05
Sun.    Jan.      8      @ Providence            3:05
Wed.   Jan.    11      @ Rochester              7:05
Fri.      Jan.    13      @ St. John’s              6:00
Sat.     Jan.    14      @ St. John’s              6:00
Sun.    Jan.    22      @ Providence            5:05
Fri.      Jan.    27      @ Bridgeport             7:00
Fri.      Feb.   10      @ Springfield             7:05
Sat.     Feb.   11      @ Hershey                 7:00
Fri.      Feb.   17      @ Lehigh Valley         7:05
Sat.     Feb.   18      @ Lehigh Valley         7:05
Sat.     Feb.   25      @ Springfield             7:05
Fri.      Mar.    10      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.   7:05
Sat.     Mar.    11      @ Springfield             7:05
Sun.    Mar.    12      @ Bridgeport             3:00
Fri.      Mar.    17      @ Hershey                 7:00
Sat.     Mar.    18      @ Hershey                 7:00
Tue..   Mar.    21      @ Wilkes-Barre/Scr.   7:05
Sat.     Apr.      1      @ Albany                   5:00
Sun.    Apr.      2      @ Providence            3:05
Sun.    Apr.      9      @ Bridgeport             3:00
Wed.   Apr.    12      @ Albany                   7:00
Fri.      Apr.    14      @ Utica                     7:00
Sat.     Apr.    15      @ Springfield             7:05

CHAIMOVITCH: AHL BOG TAKES CARE OF A LOT OF BUSINESS

ahl-logo_thumbAHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS ANNUAL MEETING CONCLUDES
Alignment, modifications to playing rules approved for 2016-17 season

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2016 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded today, included presentations from National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill DalyUSA Hockey and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association.

The Board has approved the following items to be implemented beginning in 2016-17:

Division Alignment (National Hockey League affiliates in parentheses) 

Eastern Conference  
Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (PHI)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
Springfield Thunderbirds (FLA)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

North Division
Albany Devils (NJ)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
St. John’s IceCaps (MTL)
Syracuse Crunch (TB)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
Utica Comets (VAN)

Western Conference  
Central Division
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Chicago Wolves (STL)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Iowa Wild (MIN)
Lake Erie Monsters (CBJ)
Manitoba Moose (WPG)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)

Pacific Division
Bakersfield Condors (EDM)
Ontario Reign (LA)
San Antonio Rampage (COL)
San Diego Gulls (ANA)
San Jose Barracuda (SJ)
Stockton Heat (CGY)
Texas Stars (DAL)
Tucson Roadrunners (ARI)

Playing Schedule/Standings 
• The 2016-17 regular season will consist of 1,116 games, played between Oct. 12 and Apr. 16. All teams will play 76 games each with the exception Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton and Tucson, who will play 68 games each. The full league schedule will be announced later this summer.

• Teams will receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) will qualify for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.

• The 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs will feature a divisional playoff format, leading to conference finals and ultimately the Calder Cup Finals. The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all subsequent rounds are best-of-seven.

• Teams will wear light jerseys at home until the Christmas break, and dark jerseys at home after the Christmas break.

Rule 46 (“Fighting”)/Rule 23 (“Game Misconducts”) 
• Players who enter into a fight prior to, at, or immediately following the drop of the puck for a faceoff will be assessed an automatic game misconduct in addition to other penalties assessed.

• During the regular season, any player who incurs his 10th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for one (1) game. For each subsequent fighting major up to 13, the player shall also be suspended automatically for one (1) game.

• During the regular season, any player who incurs his 14th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for two (2) games. For each subsequent fighting major, the player shall also be suspended automatically for two (2) games.

• In any instance where the opposing player was assessed an instigator penalty, the fighting major shall not count towards the player’s total for this rule.

Rule 82 (“Icing”)
• In addition to not being permitted to make player substitutions, the offending team on an icing violation also may not use its team time-out.

Rule 1.10 (“Ice Cleaning”)
• The ice cleaning procedures used during promotional timeouts will also be used prior to overtime during the regular season, replacing the “dry scrape.”

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.

RANGERS: DEFENSEMAN ADAM CLENDENING COMES TO NEW YORK

rp_new-york-r_thumb.gifRANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN ADAM CLENDENING

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 1, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Adam Clendening.

Clendening, 23, skated in 29 NHL games with Pittsburgh and Edmonton this past season, registering one goal and six assists for seven points, along with a plus-six rating and 20 penalty minutes. In 20 games with the Oilers in 2015-16, he recorded six points (one goal, five assists) and posted a plus-three rating. Clendening established single-game career-highs with two points (one goal, one assist) and a plus-four rating on March 24, 2016, at San Jose. He also skated in six games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2015-16, tallying three assists and posting a plus-four rating.

The 6-0, 190-pounder has skated in 50 career NHL games over parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) with Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and Edmonton, registering two goals and nine assists for 11 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 30 penalty minutes. Clendening has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 37 of his 50 career NHL games. He registered his first career NHL goal/point and posted a plus-two rating while making his NHL debut as a member of the Blackhawks on November 20, 2014, at Calgary.

Clendening has skated in 202 career AHL games over parts of four seasons (2012-13 – 2015-16), registering 23 goals and 103 assists for 126 points, along with a plus-27 rating and 179 penalty minutes. He was selected to the AHL First All-Star Team in 2013-14, as he established AHL career-highs in games played (74), goals (12), assists (47), and points (59) with the Rockford IceHogs. Clendening was selected to the AHL Second All-Star Team and played in the AHL All-Star Game during his first professional season in 2012-13, as he led AHL defensemen in assists (37) and ranked third among AHL defensemen in points (46). He became the first AHL defenseman to make a postseason All-Star Team in each of his first two pro seasons since 2000. Also, Clendening registered eight points (three goals, five assists) and posted a plus-seven rating in 23 games during the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs while helping Utica advance to the Calder Cup Finals.

Before beginning his professional career, Clendening played two seasons of collegiate hockey at Boston University (2010-11 and 2011-12), registering 59 points (nine goals, 50 assists) in 77 games. He was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star in 2011-12 and was selected to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in 2010-11.

Internationally, the Niagara Falls, New York, native has represented the United States in several tournaments. Clendening registered five points (one goal, four assists) and posted a plus-two rating in six games while representing the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. Also, he helped the United States earn a gold medal at the IIHF U18 World Championship in both 2009 and 2010. He was selected to the tournament All-Star Team during the 2010 IIHF U18 World Championship, as he led defensemen in the tournament in points (10) and tied for first among defensemen in the tournament in goals (three) and assists (seven).

Clendening was selected by Chicago in the second round, 36th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 6

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Here’s this week’s news from around professional hockey.

STANLEY CUP FINALS

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks started the final series of the hockey season on Memorial Day, and a Connecticut kid played a big part.

Farmington native, and Avon Old Farms grad, Nick Bonino, scored with 2:25 left in regulation off a superb pass from Kris Letang, and flipped his shot high to the short side, to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game One.

The Penguins, in the Sidney Crosby era, are seeking their third title. Behind the bench is Mike Sullivan, the ex-New York Rangers assistant coach under John Tortorella. Sullivan is at the helm after being promoted from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier in the year. Sullivan replaces the fired Mike Johnston. Former Ranger and one-time Hartford Wolf Pack/CT Whale, Carl Hagelin gets his second shot at the Cup.

Ex-CT Whale, Tim Erixon, is one of the Penguins’ Black Aces.

The San Jose Sharks are making their first appearance in the final in their 25- year history. The Sharks feature Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, who have a combined 2,778 NHL games without a Stanley Cup. One of the Sharks Black Aces is former Wolf Pack and Sound Tiger Micheal Haley.

The Sharks radio play-by-play voice is Dan Rusanowsky, a Milford native, and former voice of the New Haven Nighthawks. Rusanowsky becomes the second Nighthawks alumni announcer to call a Stanley Cup final. Hockey Hall of Famer from the Los Angeles Kings Nick Nickson called two Stanley Cup championships in LA.

AHL CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS

It’s the Lake Erie Monsters and the Hershey Bears who will battle for the 80th Calder Cup title.

Hershey knocked off regular offensive powerhouse, the Toronto Marlies, in five games. The Bears won Game Five by a 3-2 score clinching their appearance in the championship final. In the history of the AHL, these two cities have produced the most titles the Bears 11 and Cleveland 10 mostly in the late 1950’s and 1960’s period.

In the history of the AHL, the two cities where Lake Erie and Hershey are located have produced the most titles. The Bears have won eleven in Chocolate-town and Cleveland has won ten, though theirs came mostly in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

In the 21st century, the Bears have won the title three times. The last victory came in the 2009-2010 season when they beat the Texas Stars in six games, (4-2). They won the previous season against the Manitoba Moose and they were also victorious in 2005-06 beating the Milwaukee Admirals all four games to two.

Cleveland last appeared in the Calder Cup Final as the original Barons lost to the Rochester Americans four games to two. Their last title came in 1964 when they swept the Quebec Aces, who featured Fred Glover who would eventually make his way into the AHL Hall-of-Fame. Glover was the team’s leading scorer, PIM leader, and their head coach!

One thing the league won’t have to worry about is attendance in this series. Hershey and Cleveland have always been on top of the AHL’s attendance figures.

The Bears feature ex-Wolf Pack players Chris and Ryan Bourque, who was last year’s captain before being traded for Chris Brown at the NHL trade deadline. Chris won the regular season scoring title and was named the AHL MVP. In this playoff season, he has become the all-time leading playoff point-earner in Hershey. The elder Bourque surpassed Mike Nykoluk (74 points, 1958-1972) who went on to be a Rangers assistant coach in the late 1970’s and the head coach ifor the Toronto Maple Leafs for three seasons.

The Bears also have Chandler Stephenson, the nephew of ex-Whaler Bob Stephenson, former Sound Tiger captain, Aaron Ness, and assistant coach Randy Murphy, an ex-Wolf Pack.

Lake Erie features ten ex-Springfield Falcons from a year ago when Columbus switched its affiliation. Among them is their defenseman, Steve Eminger. The ex-CT Whale ended last year tearing his right knee up at the XL Center as a member of the Providence Bruins. Eminger rehabbed and signed mid-season with the Monsters. Ex-Sound Tiger tough guy Brett Gallant is a Monster too. On defense is Stratford native, and former Fairfield Prep and Taft Prep, player Jamie Sifers. Also on the roster is Westport native, and Choate Prep grad, Mike Paliotta and former Rangers defenseman, Justin Falk.

One of the assistant coaches is former Beast of New Haven, Nolan Pratt.

MEMORIAL CUP

The London Knights are kings of Canadian junior hockey.

It took overtime to overcome a great effort by QMJHL champs, the Rouyn Noranda Huskies, seeking to achieve one of the biggest upsets in Memorial Cup history.

The Huskies attempt would certainly rank with another major underdog story dating back to 1979. In that year, the high-powered Brandon Wheat Kings lost 2-1 in overtime to the Peterborough Petes.

It was not a shock considering London’s top line consisted of Mitch Marner (Toronto), Christian Dvorak (Arizona) and Matt Tkachuk (2016 draft eligible) factored in the game winner and game-tying goals.

At 7:13 Thachuk came off the left-wing and snapped a wrister that Dvorak got the shaft of his stick on redirecting it just past the Huskies’ goalie, Chase Marchand. Tkachuk, was given credit for the game-winning tally and second goal of the game.

It looked like the Huskies would engineer their upset as Julien Nantel’s bang-bang rebound at 9:13 would hold up. The goal came off great pass from Alexandre Fortin.

The Knights had won 17 in a row showed and demonstrated why they are such an offensive juggernaut under head coach Dale Hunter.

Trailing 2-1, Dvorak took a pass from Aaron Berisha and zipped a backhander in at 15:49 to tie the game at two. The eventual tournament MVP, Marner nearly won it in regulation in the last minute hitting the crossbar from fifteen feet out. Marner had 14 points in the four games he played.

London has Max Jones (son of ex-Nighthawk, Brad Jones, 2016 draft eligible), goalie Brendan Burke (son of Hartford Whalers’ Sean Burke) and ex-Wolf Pack Mike Martin (team scout).

The host Red Deer Rebels were eliminated by the Rouyn Noranda Huskies 3-1 last Friday night to get to play London. That ended the season for Jake Debrusk son of ex-Wolf Pack Louie DeBrusk, Ivan Nikolishin son of ex-Whaler Andrei Nikolishin and Adam Musil son ex-NHL’er Frantisek Musil and nephew of ex-Whaler and Ranger Bobby Holik.

Brandon head coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon is the younger brother of late Whaler Brad McCrimmon.

The goal of the tournament was scored by Brandon’s John Quenneville (second cousin of former Whaler and Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville) on the second night of the tournament against Rouyn-Noranda. See it HERE

RANGER NEWS

In a move that could affect the makeup of the Wolf Pack coaching staff next season, Rangers assistant coach, Ulf Samuelsson, has been hired Ron Francis, the Carolina GM and his long-time friend and former Hartford Whaler teammate. Samuelsson becomes the third head coach in the Charlotte Checkers AHL history. Samuelsson replaces Mark Morris, the ex-New Haven Nighthawk, who took the job at his alma mater, St. Lawrence University (ECACHL).

Samuelsson played 1,080 NHL games, 463 of them in Hartford and for his career had 31-145-176 and 1,110 PIM. In Hartford, Samuelsson’s number 5 and Francis’ number 10 hang in the rafters of the XL Center. He was the assistant coach in 2005-06 with the Wolf Pack and in 2004-05 with Avon Old Farms prep school when they had a goalie from Hamden named, Jonathan Quick.

Samuelsson has all four of his children involved in hockey. The eldest Philip split last year with the Arizona Coyotes and the Springfield Falcons. Henrik played all season in Springfield (nee Tucson). His daughter Victoria is a sophomore with the Penn State University varsity women’s team and the youngest child, Adam, has committed to Boston College this past spring and played with the CT Jr. Rangers (USPHL-Premier) last year.

This leaves an opening in New York where it’s likely that Wolf Pack assistant coach, Jeff Beukeboom, is likely to get the promotion call to work with the defenseman there as he has the last four years in Hartford.

WORLD CUP HOCKEY ROSTERS

The rosters are set for the September inaugural tournament patterned to capture the great Canada Cup series in the 1980’s. Some of the usual suspects with CT ties will be a part of various lineups.

Team Europe – Nino Neiderreiter, and Franz Nielsen (Sound Tigers) and Mats Zuccarello (CT Whale)

Team Finland – Mikko Koskinen (Sound Tigers) and Lauri Korpikoski (Wolf Pack)

Team North America – J.T. Miller (Wolf Pack) and Sean Couturier (son of Nighthawks Sylvain)

Team Russia – Artem Anisimov (Wolf Pack) and Vladimir Namestnikov (son of Wolf Pack Evgeni)

Team Sweden – Cal Hagelin (CT Whale)

Team USA – Jonathan Quick (Hamden), Max Pacioretty (New Canaan) and a trio of ex-Wolf Pack Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Callahan, and Brandon Dubinsky.

WOLF PACK PRIORITY DATES

The Wolf Pack regular season home opener is one of seven dates the team released as guaranteed home dates for the 2016-17 AHL season.

The 20th season of the franchise, now longer than the Hartford Whalers were in the Connecticut capital will commence at home on Friday, October 14th. The six other released special dates are; Wednesday, November 2nd 11:00am, Friday, November 25, Saturday, December 10, Friday, January 6, Friday, January 20, and Friday, January 28.

The full AHL schedule will be released in mid-August. The league needs to wait until after the NBA schedules are released. Why? Lake Erie and San Antonio are owned by NBA teams and play in the same building. The two teams are last NBA/AHL connections. Milwaukee will play at University-Wisconsin Carver Arena because the BMO Harris Center is being torn down and Charlotte already has moved to the Bojanglee Coliseum.

ON THE MOVE

Milford native, Mark Arcobello, who played collegiately at Yale and his public school hockey at Fairfield Prep, and prep school at Salisbury Prep (winning a championship at both), has signed with SC Bern (Switzerland-LNA).

Max Talbot who split last season between Providence and Boston is heading to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Russia-KHL).

Ex-Pack Corey Potter who split last year with Springfield and Milwaukee and got a brief late season recall to Nashville will be joining former Wolf Pack teammate Dane Byers in Cologne (Germany-DEL) next season.

Domink Uher from Wilkes Barre/Scranton heads back home to HC Sparta Prague of the Czech Elite League (CEL). Zach Phillips, who spent most of the year with Providence, but was reassigned to three different teams in the second half Chicago (AHL) and Atlanta and Kalamazoo (ECHL), heads to Sweden to Tingsryds AIF (Sweden-Allsvenskan).

Zach Phillips, who spent most of the year with Providence but was reassigned to three different teams in the second half of the season, Chicago (AHL) and Atlanta and Kalamazoo (ECHL), heads to Sweden to Tingsryds AIF (Sweden-Allsvenskan).

Former pair of CT Whale players taking up new European residences, Casey Wellman goes from Spartak Moscow (Russia-KHL) to Frolunda HC (Sweden-SHL) the defending champions. Francois Bouchard goes from HC Val Pusteria (Italy LIHG A-League) to GHC Bordeaux (France-FREL).

Manitoba Moose announced its new head coach will be Jets assistant coach Pascal Vincent who has extensive QMJHL coaching experience before becoming an NHL assistant coach.

PRE-SEASON NHL GAME IN BRIDGEPORT

The New York Islanders will host their third NHL pre-season game at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, October 1st against the Washington Capitals at 7pm.

WJC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

The highly regarded tournament returns to North America on Boxing Day in Toronto and Montreal with a twist on the format between the two cities for the tournament.

Toronto ACC (Air Canada Centre) will host one group featuring the US, Canada, Russia, Slovakia, and Latvia. Then in Montreal at the Bell Centre the other group (Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, and Switzerland) for the preliminary round. Each city will host the quarterfinal round and the semifinal round and medal games will be held in Montreal.

The US squad could feature UConn’s Tage Thompson and Ridgefield native, Chad Krys. Slovakia will likely have incoming UConn freshmen and Ranger draft pick, Adam Huska, in net and another slick skating center, Husky Max Letunov , who will be playing for Russia.

HALL OF FAME

Steve Moria, a one-time New Haven Nighthawk who played all 105 games of his AHL career in the Elm City, was inducted in the British Hockey Hall of Fame. Moria was the last Nighthawk to play actively in pro hockey.

Moria played until he was fifty before retiring five years ago. He played in over 1,339 games in Britain including their National team and World Championship teams with 3,043 total points in his career.

He played his last three season with Basingstoke (EIPHL) as a player-coach in fact 10 of his British season he held that title.

Among the teams he played for included Fife (Scotland), London, Milton Keynesn, Nottingham, Swindon, Blackburn and the Cardiff Devils in Wales where he was held in very high regard for 12 years and the Slough Jets. He played in all the leagues that have been around the UK such as the EIHL, BNL, EIPHL, BD 1 & 2 and BISL.

He is from Vancouver and played Junior A hockey in Richmond, BC for three years in the BCHL. He played collegiately at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks when it was a Division 2 program and is their Hall of Fame as well.

IN MEMORIAM

The hockey world took a double whammy this week with the loss of one-time Whaler Rick MacLeish 66, (meningitis and other complications) and Tom Lysiak 63, (Leukemia) who both had battled these illnesses for several years.

MacLeish gained his stardom with the Philadelphia Flyers as one of its top scorers during their Broad Street Bullies days in the early to mid-1970’s.

He was drafted in the first round fourth overall by the Boston Bruins in 1970 from Peterborough (OHL). He never played for the Boston. The Bobby Orr-led Bruins halfway through his first year of pro playing in the minors playing with Oklahoma City (CHL) he was a part of three team trade between Philadelphia, Toronto and Boston.

He struggled to find his game until he broke out in 1972-’73 season with 50 goals and 50 assists. He was one of six Flyers to hit the 50 goal mark in franchise history (Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, John LeClair, Tim Kerr and March Recchi) were the others.

He scored the Stanley Cup game winner for the Flyers first Stanley Cup in 1973-’74 beating the heavily favored Bruins 1-0 in Game 6 led the play playoffs in scoring with 13 goals and nine assists, but he lost out on the Conn Smythe trophy to teammate Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent both times.

On the Flyers second and last Cup winning team in 1974-75 he had 20 points in 13 games the team was also the last Stanley Cup team to win with a lineup that was comprised of all Canadians. He was an NHL All-Star three times in his 12-year career.

MacLeish had great speed for the time, one of his patented moves to come across the blue line and shift to his off-wing shooting side, going against the grain before firing his hard and very accurate wrist shot. He led the Flyers team in scoring in 1976-77.

He escaped what could have been a life threatening incident in a late season game in LA in 1978. MacLeish slid into and was accidently cut on the neck by the skate blade of Marcel Dionne. The injury resulted in MacLeish receiving 80 stitches to close the wound.

MacLeish came to the Whalers in the summer of 1981. he arrived in the Connecticut capital with Blake Wesley (former Whaler Glen’s older brother) and big tough winger Don Gillen. The trade sent Fred Arthur and Ray Allison the otheer way. All five players never made an impact for their teams. The only notable exception was defenseman Fred Arthur who would retire two years later to become a doctor.

The Whalers traded MacLeish to Pittsburgh for defenseman Russ Anderson, who still lives and works in Connecticut. Two years later MacLeish retired as a member of the Red Wings.

Lysiak was a second overall selection in the 1973 draft for the first incarnation of NHL hockey in Atlanta, the Flames. He was also drafted by the WHA’s Houston Aeros. Denis Potvin of the Islanders went first overall.

Lysiak played junior hockey for the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) winning the scoring title his last two years when he had Lanny MacDonald as his winger before being taken fourth overall by Toronto. He played in the 1974 Memorial Cup tournament.

He played for the Flames for six years leading them in scoring five of the six years, and made three straight NHL All-Star game appearances. He was the face of the franchise and retired to the Atlanta area.

Lysiak was part of what was then the largest trade in NHL history in 1978. The move was an eight player trade between Atlanta and the Chicago Blackhawks. Lysiak was the Flames’ team captain at the time.

He played seven years with Chicago before retiring in 1985 after 919 NHL games with 292 goals and 843 points.

Lysiak might most be remembered for his twenty game suspension for tripping linesman Ron Foyt on October 30, 1983 against the Hartford Whalers. The suspension remains one of the longest in NHL history and has been the standard for player contact with an official. It set a standard that even holds to this day as it was used as a measuring stick this past season for the crosscheck hit by Calgary’s Dennis Wideman on linesman Don Henderson.

Lysiak’s daughter, Jessica Lee Lysiak, is married to San Jose Sharks’ defenseman, Justin Braun, who’s competing for the Stanley Cup. He will miss tonight’s game to be with his wife and family. Braun’s agent is former New England and Hartford Whaler Tim Sheehy.

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CHAIMOVITSCH: 2015-16 AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE FIRST AND SECOND ALL-STAR TEAMS NAMED

ahl-logo_thumb2015-16 AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE FIRST AND SECOND ALL-STAR TEAMS NAMED

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced the 2015-16 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams, as voted by coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

2015-16 AHL First All-Star Team (stats through Apr. 6)
Goaltender – Peter Budaj, Ontario Reign (57gp, 39-14-4, 1.75gaa, .931sv%, 9so)
Defenseman – T.J. Brennan, Toronto Marlies (67gp, 24+43=67pts., +36, 8 PPG)
Defenseman – Brandon Montour, San Diego Gulls (64gp, 12+43=55pts., 30 PP pts.)
Left Wing – Chris Bourque, Hershey Bears (67gp, 28+45=73pts., +12, 9 PPG, 5 GWG)
Center – Frank Vatrano, Providence Bruins (33gp, 33+16=49pts., +17, 12 PPG)
Right Wing – Seth Griffith, Providence Bruins (51gp, 22+45=67pts., +12, 4 GWG)

2015-16 AHL Second All-Star Team (stats through Apr. 6)
Goaltender – Matt Murray, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (31gp, 20-9-1, 2.10gaa, .931sv%, 4so)
Defenseman – Will O’Neill, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (68gp, 8+38=46pts., +3, 4 PPG)
Defenseman – Robbie Russo, Grand Rapids Griffins (65gp, 5+34=39pts., +47)
Left Wing – Mikko Rantanen, San Antonio Rampage (48gp, 22+35=57pts., +19, 4 GWG)
Center – Dustin Jeffrey, Springfield Falcons/WBS Penguins (58gp, 19+41=60pts., +10, 3 GWG)
Right Wing – Mike Sislo, Albany Devils (54gp, 27+25=52pts., +16, 14 PPG) Continue reading

CANTLON: PACK TRIP OVER PENGUINS, LOSE 3-1

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Wilkes Barre

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins played a near perfect road game for 50 minutes and withstood a late rally to beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-1 Friday night before 4,916 at the XL Center.

The Pack are 24-22-2-0 (50 points) which puts them sixth in the Atlantic Division and ninth overall in the conference standings.

The Pack play in Bridgeport Saturday night at 7pm.

Despite being atop the Atlantic Division, the Penguins, who’s record stands at 32-14-1-1 (66 points), have been on a slide. They won just their fourth game in their last eleven. The Penguins entered the game and played shorthanded as they currently have four players on recall with the parent Pittsburgh Penguins while another four find themselves on the injured list forcing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to make four recalls from the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

The Pack effort, or lack thereof, on Friday night left their head coach, Ken Gernander, not only irritated, but frustrated that his club, at a time when every point counts as the playoffs quickly approach, go lost.

“It’s has got to be sixty minutes. It has to be sixty minutes of knock-down, drag-out, desperate-hockey from here on in. From where I come from, good enough is never is.” Continue reading

OXNARD: PACK START 3-IN-3 WEEKEND WITH LOSS TO PENGUINS

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Wilkes Barre

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 1

BY: Phil Oxnard, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, February 12, 2016 – The Hartford Wolf Pack suffered their second straight loss Friday night at the XL Center, falling to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a score of 3-1.

Nicklas Jensen’s third-period goal was the Wolf Pack’s only scoring.  Kael Mouillierat had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, and Anton Zlobin scored the game-winning goal.  Matt Murray stopped 26 out of 27 shots in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton net.

Jensen was disappointed with the team’s erratic play, saying, “We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes, or else we’re not going to win hockey games. That was the case tonight.”

Mouillierat scored the only goal of the first period, as Josh Archibald’s feed from the right-wing side went off of Mouillierat’s skate and past Wolf Pack goaltender Magnus Hellberg (20 saves) at 11:21. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: RED HOT PACK PREP FOR THREE IN THREE

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgBY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

CROMWELL, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack (24-21-2-0) start this weekend’s action in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and ninth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Pack can make some strides in their conference position for securing playoff position this weekend.

The Pack will play at home on Friday night against the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. On Sunday afternoon they will do battle with the Rochester Americans and sandwiched in between the two is a trip to Bridgeport on Saturday to tangle with the Sound Tigers.

The Pack split last weekend’s action. They started with a 5-0 shutout over the Portland Pirates and played perhaps their most complete game of the season. However, the following night they were unable to change the scoreboard from a zero. A primary reason for the failure to score was the goaltending of Albany Devils netminder, and ex-Wolf Pack, Yann Danis. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 9-14, 2016

bob-crawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (24-21-2-0, 50 pts., .532 pts. percentage) came out of the AHL All-Star break Friday night with their most convincing victory of the season, a 5-0 road shutout of the Portland Pirates. Magnus Hellberg made a Wolf Pack season-high 35 saves in that game for his third whitewash of the season, and Tommy Hughes and Adam Tambellini had a goal and an assist apiece. It was the Wolf Pack offense that ran dry Saturday night in Albany, though, as former Wolf Pack goaltender Yann Danis blanked Hartford in a 3-0 verdict for the Devils.  That was just the second loss in the last 12 games for the Wolf Pack, who have climbed to within three points of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Continue reading